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WWE Star Says Car Commercials Have No Flair

10/9/2007 12:03 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair is suing a car dealership in Columbia, S.C., claiming they are using his name, slogans and likeness in radio and TV ads without his permission.
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According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, Freedom Suzuki is using a character named Captain Freedom, who bears a resemblance to Flair (real name Richard Fliehr) and even mentions him by name. The character uses two of Flair's signature slogans -- "Whoeee!" (which sounds like his "Woooo!") and "to be the man, you have to beat the man." Flair has been using those lines both in and out of the ring for years.

The lawsuit goes on to say that the company approached Flair earlier this year about a deal to use his name and likeness in advertising, but an agreement was never reached -- and Flair never agreed to have his name or image used. Flair is now asking for the dealership to pull the ads and is seeking unspecified damages.

Timothy St. Clair, a lawyer for dealership, tells TMZ, "The complaint was just filed Thursday and we are reviewing it and we will respond on the merits in the lawsuit."

UPDATE: Johnny Stivers, of Stivers Automotive of Columbia, Inc., tells TMZ: "The commercial ran a long time ago and has since been pulled. We feel this is a frivolous lawsuit and we'll be vindicated in a courtroom."

29 COMMENTS

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1.

DARK MEAT ONLY    

Rick Flair is so old he should endorse the horse and buggy. It a wonder his blond dyed hair has not fallen from his head. . He has been a living peroxide blonde longer than Marilynn Monroe.

2468 days ago
2.

BeatleStone    

Flair is a better wrestling personality than Hulk Hogan could ever be with his style & attitude. This is a local story where I'm at & he's just ego trippin like most stars do most of the time.

2468 days ago
3.

whatever tha fu*!/rockergirl    

I've seen and heard car dealerships do this before, use slogans or mascots that were once famous,to attract customers. One in central Fla used spanish in its commercial, and got yelled at by a caucasian public.

2468 days ago
4.

Shahlaine    

That's cute that you two have problems with Rick Flair, my problem is that there is an alternate spelling for "WOOOOO!" My second problem is that instead of just using "WOOOO", they use "WHOEEE, which sounds like WOOOOO". How about you just skip the step of the explanation and just use WOOOO?!?

2468 days ago
5.

wasted days and wasted nights    

Woohoo, I'd buy a Pinto from that dude!

2468 days ago
6.

Shitney, please drop of the face of the planet.    

Is this news?????

2468 days ago
7.

SOLAME    

Wow i can't belive his is waisting the justice systems time with something that silly other people have the same name as me i think i might sue them i had it first!

2468 days ago
8.

Wasabi Pea    

This AP report was on the back page of the sports section in our local paper this morning. Big Whooop-teeee-doooo. I already read all about it.

What's happening in the "Thirty Mile Zone"??????????????????????

2468 days ago
9.

John    

After looking at the lawsuit, especially the voice over copy, this dealership is guilty. They even mention the WWE.

2468 days ago
10.

pattybaby    

Who cares about rick flair he needs to get on with his life. He has soooooooo much money that he dont need anymore. Rick Flair GROW UP

2468 days ago
11.

Celeb News by E!    

Yes, Flair is a bit of an ego maniac...as would be expected of most any grown man...especially grandfather aged, who still wears tights, has bleached out hair and screams...whoooo!, or anything else.

Is the dealership copying Flair to gain notority...YES!
Should Flair sue the dealership? Of course NOT, infact its things like this that keep otherwise "out of date" sports and entertainment figures to be known at all.

Flair should probably be happy...maybe even offer to do the commercials himself (for pay) just to keep his name out there.

I have met Ric Flair, years back when I was in the Fitness Management business and the company that I was a GM for ( American Club Systems in Columbus, Ga) managed some of Ric's Gold's Gyms. He seemed to be a nice, friendly and intelligent guy so hopefully he will drop this suite and settle something out of court...even allowing the dealership to continue to use his likeness.

-Will Estell
bcb Media, LLC.
Oxford, AL
will@pro-mediagroup.com

2468 days ago
12.

Celeb News by E!    

Who is RicK Flair? Didn't he used to wrestle back in the 80's?

I own a Saturn Dealership in Ms. and I promise you I would be surprised if half of our customers even know who he is...or care anymore.

I think he should be very greatful that anyone even wants to use his ...anything in order to potentially draw customers.

CEO
Saturn of Tupelo

2468 days ago
13.

gar9101    

WTF, all you bashing dumb ass's. This guy, at his age, can probley kick all your A**'s. This man, at his age is in great shape and can STILL get into the ring and go toe to toe with much younger men. I don't think any of you, (so called prof.people, ) can even last long mowing your own grass ( if you don't already pay some one to do it for you) get a life. Go sell your car's and find something interesting to do.

2468 days ago
14.

Mr. James B. Ond    

IF,..... IF,.....

IF RIC,.... WAS or IS A ''NO-BODY'' or A HAS-BEEN,.....
THEN WHY ALL THE CHATTER?
HE's PAID HIS DEW"s,...... HA HA HA HA HA or ''WOOOOOWIE''!
THE DEALER-SHIP,..... SHOULD PAY-UP!

2468 days ago
15.

notaceleb    

"Use me? You're gonna' pay!" Go, Ric!

2468 days ago
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